Saturday, January 26, 2013

Despite comeback, Caps lose in OT

On Friday night the Capitals suffered a tough defeat to the Devils, but not without earning their first point of the year. The Caps fought respectively from behind, trailing 2-0 at the end of the second period. Washington would have five power play chances in the third period. They would first capitalize with a 5 on 3 when Joel Ward found Mike Ribeiro for his first goal. Five minutes later Mike Green would tie the game with a shot from the point. In the end, it was Ilya Kovalchuk that ended the Caps comeback after Alex Ovechkin turned the puck over in the offensive zone.
The most important aspect of the game for the Caps was no doubt Michal Neuvirth. He saved 32 of 35 shots and had more than a few spectacular saves to keep the Caps in the game. Neuvy stood on his head when he was left out to dry on several breakaways. It is nice to finally see some positives from the crease and Neuvy has proved himself for the time being.
Mike Green played his best game of the season, logging a goal and assist. He also led all skaters with 31:10 of ice time. Despite an ill-advised penalty taken in OT, Greener was the best player out there for Washington. John Carlson looked lost again with a -2 ice rating. We’ve seen Carlson play as an elite defenseman before in this league, he needs to do some soul searching and find the #74 we all know and love.
Carlson is not the only one we’re missing out on the ice, and yes I’m talking about Alex Ovechkin. He was back at left wing tonight but with a strange combination of line mates with Joey Crabb and Jay Beagle. Nothing is wrong with those two, but if you’re trying to get your superstar captain out of his slump that isn’t the answer. Adam Oates said he was rewarding Beagle and Crabb for playing well the last couple games. Ovi was on the ice for the game winning goal, where he toe-picked in the offensive zone turning the puck over for the Devils rush.
The positive outlook would be that we are seeing improvements in the Caps each day. We need our star players to continue to step up for us like Mike Green did today despite the loss. Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin need to discover their roles in Oates’ new system and fast. The Caps will practice tomorrow back home, and face the Buffalo Sabres at the Verizon Center on Sunday afternoon. Keep the faith Caps fans!
Player of the Game: Mike Green (1 goal, 1 assist)
Stat of the Game: 32 saves (Michal Neuvirth)
Mr. Irrelevant: Alex Ovechkin
Unsung Hero: Joel Ward

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